Top Ten Things To Know

Top Ten Things To Know
Diagnosis of Acute Rheumatic Fever in the Era of Doppler Echocardiography
1. Rheumatic heart disease (RHD) is uncommon in high-income regions such as the United States and
Europe, but remains endemic in Africa, Asia, and the Pacific, affecting >15 million individuals and causing
233,000 deaths annually. 1
2. Acute rheumatic fever (ARF) incidence is decreasing in all WHO regions except for the Americas, where it
appears to be increasing slightly, and the Western Pacific, where it appears to be increasing steadily. The
2011 overall age-adjusted death rate for rheumatic fever/rheumatic HD was 0.9 per 100,000.1
3. Although ARF has declined in Europe and North America in incidence over the past 4 to 6 decades, the
disease remains one of the most important causes of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality among
socially and economically disadvantaged populations all over the world, especially in the developing
countries that are home to the majority of the world’s population. Incidence rates in these countries still
reach epidemic levels.
4. The goals of this statement are as follows:
• To review the Jones Criteria used to diagnose Acute Rheumatic Fever in the context of the
current epidemiology of the disease.
• To update those criteria to also take into account recent evidence supporting the use of Doppler
echocardiography in the diagnosis of carditis as a major manifestation of acute rheumatic fever.
5. This statement represents the first substantial revision to the Jones Criteria by the American Heart
Association since 1992 and the first application of the classification of recommendations and levels of
evidence categories developed by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association to the
Jones Criteria.
6. The results of this revision more closely align these recommendations with other international guidelines
by defining low-, moderate-, and high-risk populations, recognizing variability in the clinical presentation
for the high-risk populations, and by including Doppler echocardiography as a cardiac diagnostic tool.
7. Major and minor clinical manifestations of ARF are reviewed as well as their variability in localized
populations such as Australia.
8. Laboratory evidence for preceding streptococcal infection, degree of rheumatic fever manifestation, and
their significance for ARF diagnosis are discussed.
9. The modifications to the Jones criteria in this statement are expected to impact high-risk populations by
increasing the proportion of cases identified.
10. Overall, these revisions to the Jones criteria for diagnosis of ARF encompass technological advances in
echocardiography and address epidemiological differences in high-risk and low-risk populations..
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Judd SE, Kissela BM, Lackland DT, Lichtman JH, Lisabeth LD, Liu S, Mackey RH, Matchar DB, McGuire DK, Mohler ER 3rd, Moy CS,
Muntner P, Mussolino ME, Nasir K, Neumar RW, Nichol G, Palaniappan L, Pandey DK, Reeves MJ, Rodriguez CJ, Sorlie PD, Stein J,
Towfighi A, Turan TN, Virani SS, Willey JZ, Woo D, Yeh RW, Turner MB; on behalf of the American Heart Association Statistics Committee
and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2015 update: a report from the American Heart Association
[published online ahead of print December 17, 2014]. Circulation. doi: 10.1161/CIR.0000000000000152.
Gewitz et al.; on behalf of the American Heart Association Committee on Rheumatic Fever, Endocarditis, and Kawasaki Disease of the
Council on Cardiovascular Disease in the Young. Revision of the Jones criteria for the diagnosis of acute rheumatic fever in the era of Doppler
echocardiography: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association [published online ahead of print April 23, 2015]. Circulation. doi: